Water is one of the most amazing substances on our planet. Did you know that every single living thing needs water? It is in each of the cells in our bodies and in the bodies of all plants, animals and other creatures. Water is special because it can mix with many different liquids and solids. Its ability to stay warm for a long time makes it special too. This helps keep the temperature inside our bodies around 98 degree Fahrenheit. It also helps keep the temperature in oceans, lakes and rivers from changing very quickly.
Water can be polluted easily because so many different substances will dissolve in it. Can you think of any things that seem to disappear when you mix them with water?
Each of us uses water every day. Have you ever thought about where the water you use comes from? Even though most of us get our water from faucets, that is only the end of its journey. About half of the drinking water used in the United States comes from lakes and rivers. The other half comes from springs and wells that reach water located deep underground. Much of this water has to be treated to make it safe to drink. Chlorine, for example, is added to water in most places to kill germs that can make us sick.
In an emergency, you can make most water safe to drink by boiling it for at least 10 minutes in a shallow pan.
Sometimes, without knowing, we do things that harm our water supplies. When we use too much fertilizer or pesticide on lawns, gardens or fields, some of it can end up being washing into rivers and lakes. Once there, it can hurt fish and other animals. It also can make water unsafe for us to drink. Harmful chemicals can soak deep into the ground and pollute water that is found there. Even things like old paint or motor oil can be harmful if you dump them down the drain or pour them onto the ground. In the end, these things find their way back into our water.
Water is used in many ways. We need clean drinking water to stay health. Water is also important for many other things that we need. Farms need water to produce crops and livestock. Factories need water to make many products. Water is used in power plants that make electricity. Since we all use water in so many ways, we should remember to take care of our water sources.
Learn about Water in Your Body